6 Things You Should Know about FCC Changes for FRS and GMRS Radios

1. FRS radios are now allowed to transmit up to 2W of power and do not require a license to operate: Formally referred to as FRS/GMRS hybrid radios, these radios will now be reclassified as FRS units using expanded FRS capabilities.

2. FRS radios will now have 22 channels: These expanded capabilities now include usage of channels 8 – 14, and previously GMRS only channels 15 – 22, in addition to the existing FRS channels 1 – 7. It is important to note that each FRS transmitter type must be designed such that the effective radiated power (ERP) on channels 8 – 14 does not exceed 0.5 Watts and the ERP on channels 1 – 7 and 15 – 22 does not exceed 2.0 Watts. Part95 – eCFR

3. You will be allowed to use reclassified FRS units for personal or business reasons: People have been doing this for a while, but now it is legal! 

4. Any radio above 2W of power is now classified as GMRS radio: and still requires a license from the FCC to operate. Not much change here, except sharing additional stations with FRS radio users.

5. GMRS licensing is now good for 10 years and cost $70: This covers you and your immediate family and was previously only valid for 5 years.

6. GMRS will have 30 total channels: This means 22 FRS/GMRS channels plus 8 repeater channels. As with FRS, radios on these channels are limited to the ERP designated. If you are using a GMRS radio on channels 8 -14 you are still limited to a transmitting power of .5W. FCC GMRS Channels

Source, Midland Radio


New FCC Part 95 Personal Radio Services Rules Published in The Federal Register

Reorganized and updated FCC Personal Radio Services (PRS) Part 95 rules have been published in The Federal Register. Among other things, the PRS covers the Family Radio Service (FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), and the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS).

The revised rules allot additional FRS channels and increase the power on certain FRS channels from 0.5 W to 2 W. FRS channels are in the 462.5625462.7250MHz range.

Effective September 30, 2019, it will be illegal to manufacture or import handheld portable radio equipment capable of operating under FRS rules and under other licensed or licensed-by-rule services. The FCC no longer will certify FRS devices that incorporate capabilities of GMRS capabilities or of other services. Existing GMRS/FRS combination radios that operate at power levels of less than 2 W ERP will be reclassified as FRS devices; existing GMRS/FRS radios that operate above that power level will be reclassified as GMRS devices, requiring an individual license.

Radios that can transmit on GMRS repeater input channels will continue to be licensed individually and not by rule.

Once the new rules are effective, CBers will be allowed to contact stations outside of the FCC-imposed — but widely disregarded — 155.3-mile distance limit.

From the ARRL

New FCC Part 95 Personal Radio Services Rules Published in The Federal Register.